Here's how Hotstar battles Game of Thrones leaks and spoilers until the release of every episode
- The first episode of
Game of Thronesreleased in India on April 15. Hotstarhad a 6x increase in the number of users who woke up to watch the live stream at 6:30 am compared to the last time they aired it.
- Anyone touching the content at Hotstar office did not have contact with the outside world until the entire episode had been streamed.
While Hotstar couldn't control social media posts and trends that begin soon after the episode is aired, Hotstar had to make sure that the episode aired at the same time as the rest of the world.
“By making it a live stream, the content does not leave our data centre until it has already been aired. This adds a layer of security over and above the DRM (Digital rights management) protection on the content,” a Hotstar spokesperson told Business Insider.
The online streaming site also had to change the bitrate (the number of bits per second that can be transmitted along a digital network) to ensure the show’s rich colours and fantastic visuals aren’t affected by live streaming.
Adaptive algorithms change the show’s resolution depending on the device it is being watched on.
The premiere episode had also leaked globally, as it had aired early in one of the streaming sites.
The biggest challenge to testing the end experience was securing the content so there was no chance of leaking. Even till the very end, anyone touching the content did not have contact with the outside world until the entire episode had been streamed, said Hotstar.
Hotstar spent more than usual on creating more than enough buzz around the final season of GOT – from ads on roadside billboards to those inside metro stations as well as flooding the social media with teasers.
With so much excitement around, it became important for Hotstar to ensure that GOT fans, who have waited for two years for the final season to air, didn’t get the one thing they hated – spoilers.
In fact, last Monday, Game of Thrones became the highest watched content of the day on Hotstar.
“The live stream had almost 2.5x more watch time than any other hour during the rest of the day. It also became our 3rd highest downloaded content and highest Premium Download for the day showing users in India care about watching it offline, while it became almost half of all Premium content Downloaded,” said the Hotstar spokesperson.
How 'Game of Thrones' viewership compares to TV's other most watched shows
Watch Game of Thrones Season 8 in India: Time, Channels & Hacks You Must Know